Something I’ve been thinking about for a while now is our online footprint. When I was pregnant, I suddenly became aware of everything I said online and how I’d feel if my future child were to read it. (I think it’s safe to say that in fifteen years time, it’ll be very easy for teenagers to access everything their parents have ever posted online and use it against them.)
All those ‘Ughhh I’m so hungover I want to die’ tweets. The drunken photos on Facebook. That video of me dancing to Girls Aloud in the kitchen at my 30th birthday party. They’re just bound to come back to haunt me.
But more importantly, what about the online footprint that we’re creating for our children? Is it fair that without even being asked, they have photos posted of them, information shared and sometimes email account created on their behalf? The MummyTips blog posted some interesting statistics about this last week. According to a recent AVG study, “A third (33%) of children have had images posted online from birth and a quarter (23%) of children have had their pre-birth scans uploaded to the internet by their parents.”
I can just picture a whole generation of surly pre-teens slamming their bedroom doors, shouting ‘I HATE YOU, MUM!’ and all because they resent the number of embarrassing baby photos that are readily available online for their classmates to look at. That cute snap of them in the bath? Not so cute when it’s been printed off by some class trouble-maker, blown up and posted on the school pinboard.
I made a decision to not post photos of my daughter on Twitter, my blog, on Instagram or on Flickr. I only post photos of her on my Facebook account, which is private. I say private – it is, if you class 151 of my closest acquaintences as that. But I did have a Facebook ‘cull’ towards the end of my pregnancy, deleting around 200 people who I had nothing bad to say about, but who I just didn’t feel like sharing the details of my new family with.
Of course, I can’t really stop friends from posting photos of my child on their social sites, can I? (Unless I want to appear like an over-protective nutter.) So I guess my question is this: is there really a way of stopping your child from having an online footprint?